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Rats and Vets.

Like any other animals, some rats don't like going to see the vet, after all, they're not used to travelling, their environment seemingly changed, their friends have all disappeared, and it's just not a good overall picture! Besides, those tables are cold, and sometimes those unfamiliar people poke and prod them in places they'd never imagined! There are some things you can do to help out though.

If it's not a vet emergency but rather a fairly planned vet visit, put your rat, with some of your rat's existing bedding in his carrier cage already covered in fresh bedding. Let him get comfortable in the carrier cage in your home, and if possible, leave him in the cage overnight.

If your vet-visiting rat has only one roommate and they seem fairly close, bring the other rat with for companionship. If the vet-visiting rat is very sick, bring the other rat along in a separate cage. Often the sound of another rat nearby is comforting.

If your vet needs to do some poking and prodding, offer to hold your rat while he does this. The rat will often times feel more comfortable if he's held in the way he's familiar by a person with whom he is familiar. Just a warning though, if your vet does something he doesn't like, he's going to resent you for a couple of hours after the visit. Fortunately rats have a short-term grudge memory so you'll soon be friends again.

If your vet has a cold office table, keep your rat on your shoulders while waiting for the vet's inspection. If there are paper towels nearby, cover the table with them so when your rat does have to sit on the table, it's not hard and cold. Better yet, if you think of it, just bring a towel to lay on the table. It'll smell like you and it will bring him some comfort in this otherwise nerve-racking situation.

Lastly, try to avoid abrupt movements and sudden or loud noises. Your rat is most likely already about to crawl out of his skin!

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Disclaimer: There are many non-sarcastic accounts and tips on the web regarding rat care. This is not one of them. These are merely accounts of our experiences with rats, our perceptions of these experiences, where we've failed and where we've succeeded. These accounts are here for two purposes:

    1) To entertain.
    2) To help avoid repetition of mistakes

  Remember! Your rat is not a science project, he is your friend!

All content contained herein © 1996-2007 by Andrew Waltz, Nathalie Baldwin, & the rats of RatRaisins, Inc.  
Use of images and/or text without permission is prohibited.